UK crisp manufacturer Jonathan Crisp is introducing cholesterol-free crisps made with refined peanut oil, instead of the usual vegetable blend, to produce a 'healthier' product. The small batch manufacturer claims to be the first in the UK to come up with a solution to the high cholesterol content of crisps.
The properties of the peanut oil mean that at high temperatures the oil does not break down and release fatty acids. This produces crisps that are low in saturated fat and contain no cholesterol, says the company.
"Although the peanut oil is more expensive than the standard vegetable oils favoured by other leading brands, the quality is much higher, leading to a superior crisp in terms of flavour, crunch and health value," said Paul Saxby, director of Jonathan Crisp.
Refined peanut oil is thought to be safe for people with a peanut allergy, because the proteins that cause allergic reactions are removed during the manufacturing process.
But bigger food manufacturers, under greater pressure to respond to growing consumer health concerns, are also in the news for 'healthy' innovations. After news last week that Kraft is to reduce the salt and fat content of its products, it seems that Nestle is to follow suit, looking for ways to lower the trans fat content of its confectionery, according to a BBC report today.Nestle's UK division is looking at ways of removing trans fats, thought to be linked to blocked arteries and the focus of new, tighter regulation in countries such as the US and Denmark, from its Rolo and Toffee Crisp brands.
Scientists believe that a diet high in saturated fats could lead to heart disease - a disease that claims the lives of more than 4 million Europeans every year and accounts for two in five of all deaths in people under the age of 74.